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Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Well, I went back to an old trick to bring me up out of my funk yesterday. No, not glazed donuts from the Safeway bakery, although that would have done it, too. I put on some country music. It was like spending the day with an old friend — an old friend I've shared some great times with, someone who knows how to make me smile.

There's a danger here, of course. There are a lot of country songs about lost opportunities, which is part of what I was lamenting in yesterday's lamentable entry. But even when Diamond Rio was singing,

In a week or two
I would have been ready,
I would have known what to say.
But I missed my chance...

A little more time
Was all I needed,
But somehow fall became spring.
But put off today
What you can do tomorrow,
Sometimes you don't do a thing.
I was singing along with them, grinning like a fool. If you depend on the happy country songs to lift your mood, you've got slim pickings, my friend.

That's not to say that everything went smoothly yesterday, and I still don't know where I'm going to get my next quarter for the morning paper, but I coped. I'm not sure if the music had as much to do with it as a good night's sleep, but when Martina McBride sings Gretchen Peters' words,

Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing,
Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning.
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong,
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay,
It's independence day.
I feel lifted up, carried away, above and beyond the little things that get under my skin. The phone can ring, the copier can jam, I can trip over the phone cord, meaningless busywork can come pouring out of the fax, and yet I can still center myself. I can fend off the demons, not to mention the burning abdominal pain and the tightness in my chest. (Which, come to think of it, are the demons, or their earthly manifestations.)

No system is foolproof, but at least I'm mindful of the problems and their causes, which gives me a little momentum toward dealing with them. Monday was a day when I just couldn't see the forest, because all the trees kept falling on top of me. Today they're just throwing apples, and I'm dodging. Still having a hard time focusing on the forest, but I know it's out there somewhere.

Mom is under the knife this morning. I'm waiting for the call that tells me she's all right. My part doesn't start until she gets home, later today, so I'm getting some work done in the meantime.

She went to the doctor yesterday and got some kind of elaborate cushioning contraption that will allow her to sleep face down. There's a piece that goes under her ankles, and a place to put her face. I haven't seen it yet, but I'll try to get some pictures. She'll be in no position to stop me.

It turns out that she doesn't have to keep her head down all the time after all. If she could, it would take only one week, but the doctors know that people have to raise their head to drink water or put drops in their eyes. Or they just forget. So instead of one week face down all the time, it's two weeks face down almost all the time. After that, the operation is either a success or not, and it doesn't matter what she does.

She asked about eating and drinking. Did she just have to bend over the plate and shovel the food in? And use a straw when she drinks anything? That's right, he told her. Shovel and suck. I think they've collaborated on a highly descriptive name for the regimen. Shovel and Suck.

Anyway, the point of keeping her head down is that they're placing an air bubble inside her eyeball, and it has to press against her retina for the two weeks. That's how they smooth out the wrinkle that's causing all the problems. We're hopeful that this is the last (of eleven) eye surgeries she'll ever need.

We're more than hopeful. We're positive that everything is going to turn out okay. Suzanne is the one who's waiting for her at the hospital, and she'll take her to the follow-up appointment tomorrow. She's also planning on spending the night tonight. Meanwhile, I'll be reading the comics page of the paper to her, and telling her who's doing what to whom on her favorite soaps. Everything but cooking — for some reason that hasn't been brought up.

And just so you don't think I've completely gone off the deep end, I'm listening to Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and Miles Davis this morning. But the Dixie Chicks are handy, just in case I need them.

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Latest recommendations:

Bob is the quintessential family man, and he gives you an idea just what that means in his January 30 entry, I Am.

Farewell to Mike of into-me-see. You'll be missed around here.

Citizen Rob in 2004

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.
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Throw the dog a big ole bone and make sure your bags are packed;
We're headed for that silver moon and may never come back.